Tier one journalist David Ornstein has claimed today that Manchester United will announce who their next manager will be before the end of this month.
Current boss Ralf Rangnick was appointed on an interim basis following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this season, interspersed by a brief caretaker stint from Michael Carrick.
The temporary nature of the appointment has been said to be causing some difficulties within the club in terms of planning for the future, with transfer dealings and contract renewals stalling until the wishes of the new manager are known.
According to Ornstein, this has led the United board to expedite the appointment and announcement, even though the new boss will not officially take the reins until the season ends.
‘[United] are trying to wrap up their managerial process as soon as possible,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘They want to do it in the coming weeks, ideally by the end of March.
‘That’s why they were speeding up the process. They were meeting candidates, whittling down their shortlist and hoping to get a chosen candidate in place as soon as possible so that next manager can be a key part of the decision-making process around squad building for next season and beyond and also the transfer window, which will be crucial to Manchester United in terms of incomings, outgoings.
‘They’ll have to presumably build a new coaching team as well.
‘That’s why Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag, in no particular order, have emerged as the key candidates, and there may be a couple of others too.’
Mauricio Pochettino or Erik Ten Hag?
David Ornstein says that he sees it as a two-way battle for who becomes the next Manchester United manager 👀 pic.twitter.com/yQHVxNi7jP
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 20, 2022
Ornstein claims that those others include Julien Lopetegui and Luis Enrique, although he added that it would surprise him if the job went to anyone other than Ten Hag or Pochettino.
In terms of which of the two he expects to be successful, Ornstein said ‘it depends who you listen to,’ noting that members of the hierarchy are believed to favour the Dutchman while Sir Alex Ferguson and the players are said to prefer the Argentinian.
The names are much the same as when the journalist last provided an update on the situation but the predicted timetable may come as a shock to many.
If Ornstein is right, United’s announcement will come within the next 11 days and within that context, Ten Hag could be seen as more likely than Pochettino. The latter could be sacked by PSG at the end of the season but this is unlikely to happen sooner.
United would therefore need to pay a hefty fee to PSG to release their incumbent head coach at this stage. Ten Hag, by contrast, would be an inexpensive acquisition.